Japanese steelmaker Kobe Steel has admitted falsifying inspection data on many of its products.

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Kobe Steel’s construction arm, Kobelco

Officials from the company say approximately 200 firms received aluminium and copper products with inspection reports containing bogus data on the strength of the materials.

According to the firm – which makes construction equipment under the Kobelco brand – the falsification of data took place at four plants in Japan.

It also admitted that the activity had been ongoing for a decade.

Affected products included more than 19,000 tonnes of aluminium plate and more than 2,000 tonnes of copper strip, around 4% of the company’s annual output of these materials.

The strength of some 19,400 cast and forged aluminium products was also misrepresented.

Kobe Steel’s vice president, Naoto Umehara, said, “We deeply regret to have caused this serious incident and apologise from the heart for causing so much concern and inconvenience.”

As well as setting up a special investigation team, Kobe says it has notified all companies in receipt of the products and materials in question, but that none has so far reported any safety concerns.

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